Whenever you move a stone or piece of rotting wood in the garden, you are likely to see a whole bunch of little critters scurrying away. These are all part of that group of organisms called decomposers. Sowbugs and pillbugs fall into this category.

They are not insects but, rather, are lumped with the crustaceans, a group of animals that includes lobsters and shrimp. Sowbugs and pillbugs have segmented bodies, many legs and a hard shell. They feed primarily at night on decaying organic matter.

These critters do no damage and there is no need for treatment of them in the landscape. If they invade the home, the key is to find a way to limit their access and to remove the moisture from the area.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


Types of Insects

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